Quick Links

2016 MLB roster outlook: Los Angeles Dodgers


2016 MLB roster outlook: Los Angeles Dodgers

2015 record: 92-70, first place in NL West

Manager: Dave Roberts 

Estimated 2016 payroll: $247 million

Key additions: LHP Scott Kazmir, RHP Kenta Maeda, RHP Joe Blanton, OF Trayce Thompson

Key losses: RHP Zack Greinke, RHP, Bronson Arroyo SS Jimmy Rollins, RHP Jim Johnson

Projected lineup

OF Yasiel Puig 

2B Howie Kendrick 

1B Adrian Gonzalez 

OF Andre Ethier 

SS Cory Seager 

3B Justin Turner 

C Yasmani Grandal 

OF Joc Pederson 

Projected rotation

LHP Clayton Kershaw

RHP Kenta Maeda

LHP Scott Kazmir

LHP Brett Anderson 

LHP Alex Wood 

LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (recovering from injury)

Top relievers

RHP Kenley Jansen 

RHP Yimi Garcia 

LHP J.P. Howell 

LHP Luis Avilan

Biggest questions entering 2016

1. How will the rotation fare without Zack Greinke? The Dodgers figured that Greinke might bolt in free agency and cash in on what was a stellar 2015 season, but they probably didn't think that he'd land with the division rival Arizona Diamondbacks. So with their rotation weakened, they filled the vacancy left by Greinke by signing a slew of capable-if-unspectacular arms like Scott Kazmir and Japanese righty Kenta Maeda, among others. Luckily, the Dodgers still have a guy named Clayton Kershaw. But unless they get a surprise performance from another arm, they'll lack that one-two punch at the top of the rotation like they had last season. 

2. How much of a difference will new manager Dave Roberts make? By the end of last season, it was clear that Don Mattingly had worn out his welcome in Los Angeles. So after the Dodgers parted ways with the skipper, they sought to bring in a new, younger voice to lead the clubhouse. Enter Roberts, 43, who steps into his first opportunity to manage in the big leagues. It's sometimes difficult to quantify how much a manager can make a difference over the course of a season, but there are plenty of examples (see Maddon, Joe in Chicago) of how a new voice can turn things around in a hurry. With a veteran team that is coming off three straight division titles, Roberts has a good chance to have success in his first season in L.A. 

3. Are they done making moves? For a team that seemed poised to make a splash, the Dodgers were unusually deliberate this offseason. They didn't re-sign Greinke, their managerial search went on longer than many expected, and they didn't wind up bringing in big-name talent. Of course, it wasn't for lack of trying. They reportedly had a deal with the Reds to acquire closer Aroldis Chapman, but that was later nixed after allegations of domestic violence emerged. The Dodgers could still shore up the bullpen, especially with the number of quality veteran relievers available on the open market. L.A. could also look to move outfielder Andre Ethier, who is due $38 million over the next two seasons. 

Quick Links

The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful


The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful

It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.

It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.

They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training. 


Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.

Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.

Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats. 


Quick Links

Per usual, Max Scherzer strikes out Tim Tebow on three pitches


Per usual, Max Scherzer strikes out Tim Tebow on three pitches

We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.

Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:

It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.

Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.